Sports Drink

on Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 2:33 PM

I typically use Gatordade on my runs.  Buy the canisters and mix it myself.  I've found lately though that I'm buying the gatorade bottles with the twisty caps and just using them on my runs.  They hold more liquid than my hand held and they offer more flavours than you typically get in the powdered form.  Cherry frost is my new favorite, mostly it's somewhat palatable and it's white so if you spill it on your shirt it doesn't show.

I recently bought some Honey Maxx powder.  It was a spontaneous buy while I was in line to buy some stuff at a local running store. Never tried it before, but since the marathon I'm running in the fall will be serving it, I thought I'd give it a try. I bought a 500g bag of the stuff which supposedly has 20 servings in it.  Not exactly cheap at over $20 and the bag isn't the most useful thing.  It's one of those resealable bags that you might find used for chips, but this contains powder and a little plastic scoop in it.  The scoop is much smaller than a typical gatorade one, so the first time I tried it, I just assumed that roughly the same amount of powder would do. First thing I notice is that it doesn't dissolve very well.  While Gatorade crystals dissolve relatively quick, this stuff was more like a powder (think like flour) and I had my doubts about whether it would fully dissolve by the time I took my first sip. When I did take my first sip, yikes, it was way too concentrated and sickly sweet.  Basically, like a concentrated honey.  Even though the flavour was supposed to be "orange",  there really isn't a hint of it, just the overwhelming sweetness.  I realized after, that about a scoop and a quarter is all that's needed, but it's still very sweet. It's also very gritty.  Even once fully dissolved, you can still feel some grit in there while drinking.  I think I'm getting used to the taste and it hasn't caused me any gastro distress.  They also have a lemon-lime flavour and I'm hopping that it's not terrible.

Looking at the Niagara falls race, I noticed that they only have fluid stations every other mile now.  When I last did the race back in 2009, they had one every mile which was one of the reasons I chose to run the race.  I usually need to drink quite a bit while racing a marathon so this has me worried a bit, but I guess there's no point worrying about it now.  


on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Just an update on the Polar S3+ foot pod front. I received it a few weeks ago and no extra import charges so yeah to that.  I've been running with it off and on and don't really like it.  I guess I've gotten spoiled with the GPS watches which are relatively consistent.

The problem with the foot pod is it needs to be calibrated but only is accurate at the pace it was calibrated at.  For someone like me who is all over the place with paces doing 9:30 recovery runs and 7:00 LT runs, this doesn't work very well for me, so distance wise, it isn't very accurate.  But that's okay, I really got it for the cadence feed back, but what I didn't realize at the time I bought it, is that my Polar RC3 GPS watch has no way of displaying cadence during a run, which I find absolutely ridiculous.  I can find out the average once the run is over for the entire run, but if I want any more info, I have to upload the data to the polar website.  So hey I can uplaod the info and find out after the fact that I should have had a higher turnover. Of course, I already know that. I wanted to be able to determine that info by a glance at my watch as opposed to having to count my footsteps manually for 60 seconds.

As for what data i have determined, it's pretty much what I expected. I can get to 90 on recovery runs when I'm wearing my Brooks PureConnects which are minimalist shoes. For long runs when I don't really concentrate on cadence, I 'm about 86 or so and tempo runs, I'm at 92.

So here's my run as a pacer at Midsummer Night's run 15k.
even though I had calibrated it at 8:00 min/miles, it thought i was going a bit slower and so it got the mileage wrong. My cadence was around 89 for most of the race and dropped down a bit towards the end. 

Part of me is now thinking that maybe I should get the garmin footpod.  I know the garmin can display cadence on the fly and in hindsight if I had known that the polar watch didn't display cadence, I probably would have gone down that route.  It would mean having to wear two watches at times since I love the polar for HR data and absolutely despise the HR strap that comes with the garmin. But since I wouldn't need cadence data on every run, it would be doable. As it is right now, I usually wear the garmin for pace runs since the polar watch doesn't have a lap pace display which I also think is ridiculous.  Polar makes such great hardware, but their software is extremely lacking in places. 

Seeking Directions

on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 11:26 PM

A couple of times a year, I get stopped during one of my runs by someone seeking directions.  Sometimes it's someone walking around and other times, it's someone who pulls up besides me in a car.  Usually, I have no problem pointing them in the directions of the nearest highway, major arterial road, liquor store, etc., but sometimes I get stumped.

Last week, I got stopped by someone in a BMW asking for the location of an obscure side street, Glen Springs Drive. Sounded familiar, but maybe it could have been that almost every side street in the area includes the name of a water feature.  I was about to say that I couldn't help, when the woman started describing directions she had been given and based on that, there was only one street that I could think of that fit that description (that is BTW, neither near a Spring or a Glen) so I gave her directions to that with the caveat that if that wasn't it, she should stop to ask someone else. As it would turn out, I did give her the right directions and funny enough, it's actually part of one of the common running routes I use. I have ran on that street hundreds of times over the past decade, but I just never bothered to realize what its name was.  In fact, I realize that I've probably run on every side street in my area at some point in my running career, but I only know a handful of their names.  Of course, during my last long run, I found myself noticing the names of all  the side streets and trying to make a mental note of what they were, which got me thinking of what other types of info I've accumulated  about my neighbourhood.

Over the years, you come to realize some things about the houses you run by, not necessarily consciously, but based on general familiarity that one gets from years of running. For example, today, in the middle of summer, I can point out to you the houses that don't shovel their sidewalks and those that keep them meticulously free of snow/ice during the winter. I can point out the house with nice landscaping and the one with the old chinese woman out front who's constantly weeding her lawn. Sometimes, it's not the houses, but the people. In the early morning, you start to see familiar faces, who cheerily say good morning as you run by, or the man walking his two dogs who I've learned to give a wide birth to because they always bark and try to chase me as I run past. 

I've always thought that running the same routes over and over again gets boring after a while, but I've come to realize that there are always new things to see and notice on every run, you just have to notice and appreciate them. 


on Friday, August 1, 2014 at 7:54 PM

I registered for the Niagara Falls marathon that takes place on October 26.  It was either this one or Hamilton which is a week later.  I've done Niagara falls before so am somewhat familiar with it.  Ideally would have liked to wait until the week of to register even if it was more expensive, but it looked like it was going to sell out early.  At the beginning of July, 2/3 of the 1500 spots were gone and considering the last price increase of August 1 was looming, I just decided to register and save the extra $10.

This got me thinking about the marathon majors again which I would like to do at some point.  I've done the three US based ones which are easy, the remaining three (London, Berlin, Tokyo) are more difficult to plan for.  This is also complicated in that all three have a lottery system to get in, but you can always buy your way in, if you're willing to pay.  The nice thing is that none of these three charge you to enter the lottery, unlike one marathon (*cough* New York. *cough*) and they also don't require you to automatically pay upon being selected. You still have an opportunity to not go and not pay if you want, also unlike a certain marathon.  With no chance of doing Boston next year, I thought maybe I would take a shot at crossing at least one of the remaining three off my list in 2015.  London is off the list because I forgot to enter the lottery which was available for all of one day.  Next year, I have to put it into my calendar.

Both Tokyo and Berlin both have lotteries that have yet to take place and I'll probably enter both of them with the hopes of getting into only one of them If I get lucky and get into both, there's always a possibility of doing them both since one is in February and the other in September, but I'm not sure I would be able to make at least a week long vacation out of both, but then it would seem like a waste to go all that way to just run 42.2km.  I guess I'll have to cross that bridge *if* I get to it.